Haldane Fisher Steel Lintels Blog Photo of Keystone Lintels

How to avoid pitfalls when choosing steel lintels

A steel lintel is something that needs to last the lifetime of a building, so choosing the right one is crucial. There are dangers and risks involved in choosing cheap alternatives.  To discuss in depth what exactly to look out for Haldane Fisher has teamed up with  the market leader in the steel lintel industry, Keystone Lintels, to provide a comprehensive guide to the importance of quality, service, safety testing and certification in steel lintel manufacturing.

Third Party Certification

Third party certification is an extremely important part of the construction industry. Certification means that an independent organisation has reviewed the manufacturing process of a particular product. It has been independently determined that the final product complies with safety, quality and performance standards. A third party examination will typically include comprehensive formulation or material reviews, testing and facility inspections.

This valuable endorsement for the product’s performance gives specifiers and contractors extra reassurance that your products have been rigorously tested to industry standards.

BBA testing

The British Board of Agreement (BBA) is one of the UK’s leading bodies offering approval, certification and test services to manufacturers of products and systems supplying the construction industry. BBA experts assess, audit and test during the development of a manufacturer’s product. The resultant impartial reports provided by the BBA help manufacturers like us to make judgements on how to proceed with the development and these reports can be used as supporting evidence when applying for full BBA approval.

Products that receive BBA certification are recognised by building control, government departments, architects, specifiers and industry insurers such as the NHBC. It is a mark of quality, safety and reliability that provides reassurance that a product is fit for purpose. It is therefore vital for construction products or systems to achieve this certification if they are to gain a quick route to the marketplace

Steel lintels are critical structural elements and should be made in a factory that is governed by strict quality control manufacturing procedures. BBA certificates are awarded only to lintel companies who continuously carry out approved load testing and operate under strict quality control manufacturing procedures. Keystone’s Hi-Therm lintel, for example, is the only thermally broken lintel on the market that has trusted 3rd party certification from the BBA, which has tested the design, strength, performance, durability and fire resistance to ensure the product is fit for purpose.

Encouraging the safe development and adoption of innovative solutions in construction manufacturing is crucial and can be achieved through the provision of reassurance to manufacturers, users, local authorities, specifiers, industry insurers and key construction trade associations in the UK with the BBA.

CE Marking

A CE Mark demonstrates compliance with the appropriate manufacturing standard for a product. To apply a CE Mark, manufacturers, contractors and fabricators are required to demonstrate compliance with the standard BS EN 1090 – part 1: Execution of steel structures and aluminium structures.  A CE mark, therefore, is not a quality mark; it is proof of conformity to this regulatory requirement. It is a manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation.

Keystone Lintels is covered by the following standards: BS EN 845-2 for standard lintels and BS EN 1090-1 for bespoke lintels. All fabricated steelwork, engineers, contractors and steelwork contractors should have amended their specifications accordingly to ensure only CE marked products are used on their projects.

Technical Expertise and Support

Keystone are Haldane Fisher’s key supplier for Steel Lintels.  Our preference is based on the confidence that is supplied with the comprehensive technical support provided with all Keystone products. With a free scheduling and specification service with quick turnaround alongside a bespoke lintels design service  which includes onsite measurement, Keystone technical expertise and support provides the reassurance every customer desires.

Keystone’s in-house design team use the latest thermal modelling software to provide our customers with  solutions for compliance with and beyond the latest building regulations.

Furthermore, Keystone utilise planning software to track every step – from technical enquiries, schedules or orders through to manufacturing and delivery.

It is this attention to detail and quality technical expertise that makes Haldane Fisher’s partnership with Keystone Lintels so relative to today’s construction industry, providing both quality and peace of mind from initial design right through to the on-site delivery .

For more information please visit Haldane Fisher’s Lintels section or contact your local Haldane Fisher Branch.

Choosing The Right Roof Truss For Your Build

A house is made of a number of crucial components that work together to provide it with structural integrity, longevity and the ability to defend against the elements. At the top of the house, the roofing material is the first line of defence against the weather but a roof is only as strong as the trusses beneath it. So how do you know what kind of roof truss is right for your home?

Basics Roof Trusses

Roof trusses are structural components that take the weight of roofing material such as tiles or slates. They are made most commonly from either timber or from steel and are nailed, pegged or bolted together to create a supportive roof base. Trusses are common in both homes and business premises as opposed to stick roof framing because it is stronger and can handle the weight load correctly. These trusses are often made in elsewhere and brought to the construction site ready to install so this also reduces the time needed to finish the property.

Roof trusses are generally more economical than other options because they are usually made from 2 x 4 stock which is a lot less expensive than the material used in stick roof framing. The trusses also can be installed by a number of tradesmen rather than needed a specialist on site, also saving money on the project.

Types Of Truss

While there are a number of different designs and formations of roof trusses available, most homes tend to use one of a smaller number of tried and tested styles. These are used around the country on most of the homes built as well as in properties being renovated where new roof trusses are required.

The king post truss is one of the most popular styles, mostly due to its durability, able to withstand the tension of a building for a long period of time. The design uses two main rafters along a central vertical post, called a king post, and a tie beam.

The queen post truss is often confused for the King Post Truss but is different. The queen truss uses two main rafters, the same as the king but it has two vertical posts rather than one. This makes for a bigger span and can even be expanded further using spliced joints.

The raised tie truss is used to make vaulted ceilings in the house and is where the ceiling is lifted to above the wall plate height.

The scissor truss is given its name for its resemblance to an open pair of scissors. The bottom part of the truss crosses one over another and then connect to the top part, known as the chords.

Most of the time, selecting the type of roof trusses needed for a project will be done by the architects or builders on the projects. But as with anything to do with your home, a good basic understanding of what they do and what benefits the different types offer means you are best informed when the decisions are made.

Which Type of Brick Do You Need?

When it comes to choosing building materials it may seem that you are overwhelmed by choice. However, each and every brick type that is available throughout the UK has its own set of benefits and is ideally suited to a range of purposes.

This guide looks at some of the most popular bricks and what type of build they are most suited to.

Clay Bricks

Common Bricks

Bricks that have no control on their appearance or colour are known as common bricks. They have a low compressive strength and are often seen as being lower quality then other types of clay bricks. These should only be used above ground and are most commonly found in internal brickwork.

Engineering Bricks

If you are looking for a brick with high compressive strength as well as low water absorption then the engineering brick is for you. They are most commonly used for below ground level work and for Damp Proofing.

Facing Bricks

Facing bricks are bricks designed to create a aesthetically pleasing external look to a property. They come in a variety of colours and sizes and are the most popular type of bricks used in building work.

There are a variety of different types of facing bricks including; wirecut, stock bricks and waterstruck.

  • Wirecut bricks are the most common in the UK. During the process the clay is passed through a brick shaped die, giving a sharp and crisp brick, followed with the look being determined by adding sand for texture. This clay is then cut into shape and fired individually in the kiln.
  • Stock bricks are moulded by machine with a tool called a frog indent. The wet clay is pushed into these sanded moulds and gives the bricks a soft texture and irregular shape.
  • Waterstruck bricks are released from their moulds using water. They do not contain any holes or frogs and are completely solid.

Reclaimed Bricks

As the name suggests, reclaimed bricks are those that have been reclaimed from other sources. Often demolition sites. These come in a variety of formats including handmade, facing and engineering.

It is usual for reclaimed bricks to be worn and have irregular sides due to their original use.

However, they also have a sense of character and uniqueness that appeals to many people.

Handmade

Unfortunately handmade bricks are not common to find anymore, despite this being the traditional method of crafting bricks. These bricks often have a real sense of distinction when compared to machine crafted bricks, however, due to the rare nature of the handmade process now in brick manufacturing; these types of bricks can be costly.

So now you know more about the different types of bricks, you can decide which one is ideal for your property. Whether it is for internal brickwork, work below the ground or simply to make the property look great. Bricks really do have everything that you are looking for.